Insecure Authors and the Grim Wasteland of Self-Publication

The other day I got a message from someone telling me that the busiest period of the year for book buying was coming up. I couldn’t miss the big marketing opportunity they had for me, apparently.

For only a handful of coins they’d transform my life with some great Amazon and Goodreads reviews.

What absolute bollocks that is. I can understand there’s a market for it. Self-Publishing is a world of getting shunned by everyone and working hard to have people give your work a chance.

It’s a crowded wasteland, we’re all hungry, and the sun is setting.

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Paying for lies isn’t going to protect you from reality. A few more strangers might give it a look, but it’s tainted meat.

Reviews don’t come easy. That’s what makes it worth the work and waiting. A four star review from a stranger was the most satisfying thing I’ve ever logged into Amazon to read. It blew my mind and made me get excited to keep working.

I’ve had a couple of friends post reviews unsolicited after they’ve hit me up, and I’m glad they enjoyed it. When I see one posted by them on Amazon, something feels off. They’ve done it of their own accord and I know their enthusiasm is genuine; thing is the satisfaction isn’t there.

A paid for review posted up would send me crazy. My dad posted a review and it gives me palpitations. It looks sketchy as hell, I feel oddly cheated. I even dropped a message over to Amazon that’s yet to have anything done.

Those are just personal feelings though, do I have facts and data to back up why it would be bad to do this? Luckily I created this handy graph.

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As you can see it’s great for skiing in the clown shoes that come part and parcel with the service.

What if the intended effect happens though and you make mad cash from it?

*Imagine I’m doing a shrug with a confused look and my palms pointed upwards like a bit in a 70’s comedy*

I get why people do it. I don’t blame them for wanting to try for an edge. Lying to your potential readers and trying to shortcut hard work isn’t the way to do that. You can grab hold of that first piece of bushmeat you find out on the plains and stuff the rancid, raw morsels in your mouth.

You might be fine at first, but the myriad diseases are going to wreck your innards.

Don’t compromise your integrity and dignity by paying someone 15 bucks to have their kids write you an Amazon review. Self-Publishing is risky and you need to be secure enough to be in for the long haul, if you’re so insecure that you’re trying to rush things along then stop to consider the whole.

Are you dependant on book sales to eat? To change your life? To get laid? Maybe there’s better ways to achieve those things without spending cash on gimmickry.

Not all authors will survive the wasteland of self-publication. My work will likely end up as bones on the trail.

It’ll make one hell of a smug, honest skeleton at least.